So, as many of you may have heard, Nebraska just came out with a new slogan: “Nebraska: Honestly, Not for Everyone.” Just going to leave that here for you to ponder over for a minute. Keep in mind this slogan is designed to try to attract tourists and visitors to this fair state. It… doesn’t seem to do a good job at that from first glance.
Though I’ve lived here for a grand total of six years now and have made more of an emotional investment here than anywhere else I’ve lived, I’m not a Nebraska native, but I will always stick up for this state when others talk bad about it or are misinformed. When I say this slogan I was at first confused, then sad, then motivated. First off, to the small Colorado studio (who shall not be named) who created this campaign, I think you’re stating the obvious. You could tack on literally any person, place, or thing before “… Honestly, Not for Everyone” and call it a day. Lazy marketing if you ask me. But that’s besides the point as obviously there was enough people in our state capitol to approve the campaign so we can’t point fingers here.
Then, I was saddened. I feel like lately Nebraska has made some great strides into becoming an inclusive location to live and work. Sure, we don’t have any sprawling metro areas like LA or NYC, but we make up for that by the amazing quality of people and sense of community you get when you move to Nebraska. Here, there’s no judgement. Everyone is seen as human and you help a neighbor out instead of trying to one-up them. It makes the state such a pleasant place to live in, knowing the whole population has your back and you got theirs. Seeing such an exclusionary tagline made me feel like we took a step backwards from all the progress we’ve made and broadcast that to everyone around the world. The slogan has undeniably been drawing attention, but not the kind Nebraska deserves.
Finally, motivation kicked in. Me, in addition to the hundreds of other creatives that call this state home, have really pushed to make Nebraska the place we see it has the potential to be every day through our work, interactions with clients, and how we go about our daily lives. Sure, maybe Nebraska isn’t for everyone, but what is? I just want my state filled with great humans, positivity, and, of course, Runzas. I won’t let a five-letter phrase take that away from me nor will anyone else who truly calls this state their home.
So for those of you who truly don’t believe me, I implore you to come down and check out Nebraska for yourself. For whatever it is some think Nebraska is lacking in, we make up for it in amazing people, our communities, and some Midwestern manners that might even shock a New Yorker.